July 29, 2014

Detroit's M-1 streetcar starts construction

Construction crews took to Woodward Avenue (M-1) in Detroit to start construction activities on the city’s new 3.3 mile modern streetcar line on Monday.

M-1 RAIL is the first public streetcar line in the U.S. being supported by a public-private partnership comprised of foundations; corporations; and local, county, state and federal governments. 

Construction activities began just after midnight when construction workers, led by the project’s construction manager/general contractor Stacy and Witbeck Inc., began positioning traffic detour signage and erecting pedestrian fencing around the work zone.

As crews began work this morning, Roger Penske, M-1 RAIL chairman of the board, and Matt Cullen, M-1 RAIL president/CEO, visited the construction site with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan for a briefing on the first day of construction activities.

“The road to bring a modern streetcar line to Detroit began more than seven years ago, and today we’ve reached a major milestone,” said Penske. “The people who live and work in this city have tenacious spirits. It’s that passion and love for this place that gets projects like this moving. We are now on the path to revolutionize the way we move throughout the Woodward corridor and beyond.”

Upon completion in late 2016, the M-1 RAIL Streetcar will travel north and south along Woodward Avenue for 3.3-miles between Larned Street and W. Grand Blvd. The streetcar will service 20 stations at 12 locations, traveling to Detroit’s largest job centers and most visited destinations including the city’s business, educational, medical, cultural and entertainment hubs.

It will also ignite new economic development and job creation and will provide a foundation for improved and expanded public transit throughout the region, according to M-1 officials. Projections indicate the streetcar will promote 10,000 new housing units and more than $3 billion in economic development along the M-1 RAIL route and neighboring side streets over the next decade.

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